Award winning luxury jeweller Victoria Tryon founded her own brand in 2009 after a career in some of the world's finest jewellery houses. A qualified gemologist and certified diamond grader, Victoria creates bespoke pieces for clients around the world as well as designing limited edition collections in her London studio. Growing up in the English countryside but travelling frequently to the Middle East, her collections juxtapose the exoticism of the East with the natural beauty of her Wiltshire roots. Steps To The Top: 7

PA, Harry Fane - Sales Associate, Cartier - Sales Associate, Boucheron - Assistant Manager, Boucheron - Sales Associate, Harry Winston - Manager, Verdura - Founder, Victoria Tryon 

Career choice is tricky. Entrepreneurship even more so. How did you end up where you are today? It was a natural progression. I have always been interested in the arts. I happened to be introduced to a private jeweller early in my career and joined him. I found many of the aspects that fascinated me so much in art, were also relevant to jewellery. The seed was planted and I embarked on my gemological studies. I gained the confidence to start up on my own several years later when I had a decade of experience working for some of the finest jewellery houses. I had built up a loyal clientele. I was sure they would remain with me and support me in my new venture.

Jewellery: A female industry? Contrary to what you might expect, both buying and selling are challenging as a female jeweller.  Though women are increasingly treating themselves, it is still very male led on both sides. It’s rare that you would encounter a female stone dealer and more often than not you are selling to a man. The jewellery industry is a very tight knit community, it is all about relationships. On meeting a new supplier, you can feel them testing the water and figuring you out. They sometimes try their luck. The price goes up, the old stock gets rolled out. You really have to prove yourself, more so than men. Likewise, with selling, some male clients can employ bullying tactics in order to negotiate with you.

Success. What does it mean to you? For me, happiness = success. If you are able to successfully juggle work, personal and family life then it’s a huge achievement. More often than not if you excel in one, the other suffers. I often look at women I perceive as more successful and feel a sense of awe and to some degree inferiority. Then I pause and remember it’s all a matter of prioritising what’s most important to you. Happiness is one of the hardest things to achieve. If you are at peace with yourself, you have found success.

How do you achieve balance? Initially, very badly! It was a trial and error period for a while. There was the usual cliché, where I wasn’t doing anything very well. Now I realise what my priorities are and follow my instincts. I know I am most productive in the morning, so do the more taxing things then. As the day runs on, the more menial tasks get achieved. I always try to be as present as possible with anything I am doing. Whether I am working or with my husband or children. There has to be a clear divide.

Wearing jewellery for work. What are your top tips? It entirely depends on what you do and what’s appropriate. A staple pair of really good ear studs are a necessity. They work regardless of the neckline and can just frame your face. If you wear shirts, a long necklace or sautoir can really complete a look. Often it is difficult to express yourself widely with your clothes and remain professional. Accessories make this possible.

Victoria is offering her first ever discount to Step Up members: a 20% discount on all current collections in June.